Choir spreads hope mes­sage

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - Front Page - Photo avail­able at west­pix.com.au Karen Hunt

AS part of a na­tional tour, the Wa­toto Church Chil­dren’s Choir per­formed at Bridgetown Town Hall on Thurs­day.

The 18-mem­ber choir is one of a num­ber tour­ing the world to raise aware­ness and money to sup­port the evan­gel­i­cal or­gan­i­sa­tion’s work.

The chil­dren rep­re­sent “the sound of a trans­formed gen­er­a­tion”, how­ever their home coun­try Uganda is still deal­ing with the legacy of decades of war and an AIDS epi­demic.

Their gospel har­monies, African rhythms and beam­ing smiles won plenty of praise from a ca­pac­ity crowd.

All are or­phans raised in vil­lages set up by Wa­toto Min­istries, which also of­fers health, ed­u­ca­tion and so­cial pro­grams in Uganda.

They re­hearsed for months be­fore start­ing a na­tional tour in Queens­land in April, aim­ing to spread the gospel and Wa­toto’s story.

Tour leader Em­manuel Kirisa said along with gospel and con­tem­po­rary songs with an African twist, and plenty of dance moves, mem­bers of the group share their own sto­ries.

“What we de­sire is re­la­tion­ship, we just don’t want to get so many funds and so many spon­sor­ships and go home,” he said.

Lo­cal churches spon­sored the choir’s visit and sup­port­ers bil­leted the Africans, who got a taste of home at cafe the Sa­van­nah Cof­fee Lounge be­fore Thurs­day’s con­cert.

Church of Christ el­der David Bard­s­ley said the choir did well with do­na­tions, mer­chan­dise sales and spon­sor­ship pledges.

“They passed the buck­ets around and raised over $2000.”

He thanked those who at­tended and the CWA for ca­ter­ing.

Pic­ture: Karen Hunt

The Wa­toto Church Chil­dren’s Choir sang in Bridgetown on Thurs­day on the last leg of a na­tional tour which be­gan in Queens­land in April.

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